Category Archives: entertainment

Superexcited for Cineworld’s Superscreen and Paddington 2*

I didn’t think anything in the world could persuade the wee man to part with his football – then we went to Cineworld.

The boys are just reaching cinema age – you know, where they’ll sit longer than 45 seconds and not require 17 snacks. So when Cineworld got in touch and offered me tickets to see Paddington 2 on the Superscreen, I felt brave enough to accept.

Rod was skeptical. He packed a bag with 17 snacks and insisted we book aisle seats – but even he was pleasantly surprised.

“Wow!” was the wee man’s first comment – and that was just when he saw the Christmas tree outside the cinema.

Next was the excitement of the huge escalator, the popcorn cabinet and the huge blue “Superscreen” letters, which he took pride in sounding out for his wee brother (complete with jolly phonics actions – proud).

It was only KD’s second cinema visit – and the first visit had involved 3D glasses – so technically it was his first proper experience of a huge movie. Viewing it on the Superscreen (which means a wall-to-wall, ceiling-high screen) must have blown his little mind. I don’t think he’s ever sat so still. He was transfixed. For a kid who loves a movie on an iPad this was heaven indeed – and the sound was coming from all around him (apparently it’s multidimensional sound powered by 27 amplifiers).

The wee man, who’d given up his ball at the popcorn cabinet, appeared to have forgotten all about it. Even Rod relaxed.

The movie itself was absolutely charming. The boys clearly loved the bear and his clumsy mischief, I enjoyed the nostalgic image of a villagey London and the brilliant acting from Hugh Grant and Hugh Bonneville. The sequence where the pop-up book came to life, with Paddington running through it, was a gorgeous and clever mix of old and new technology. I could see the boys loved that bit too – with such an enormous screen, they must have felt like they were in that book right along with Paddington.

Of course I won’t spoil the ending – but I highly recommend the movie. Anything that can keep my two crazies that enthralled has to be a winner. As for the Cineworld Superscreen experience, it really is incredible. I’d recommend you sit right at the back to get the full impact – but I doubt you’ll need an aisle seat.

It was one happy family who left Cineworld that Sunday – and with a bag still full of snacks.

Book Paddington 2 here and check out what else is showing in Superscreen, including Star Wars and Justice League: https://www.cineworld.co.uk/superscreen#/

“Mummy, can we go back?!”

 

*With very many thanks to Cineworld for paying for our tickets, along with a small fee for writing this review

 

 

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33 times when you know you’re a mum

You know you’re a mum when:

1 The supermarket checkout looks like this:

2 You come home from visiting your best friend, your partner asks how she is and you have no idea. You’ve spent the afternoon breaking up fights, cleaning up spills and interrupting every sentence with “NO! Don’t do that!”

3 Your washing line looks like this: 

4 You start referring to 7am as ‘a long lie’

5 Your reflexes become superhuman – you can catch a small child as they run onto the road using only the sound of their footsteps.

6 You think this is totally normal: 

7 Nakedness is no longer odd, sexy or even slightly unusual.

8 Every time you open a kitchen cupboard, a packet of Hula Hoops falls out.

9 Every time a packet of Hula Hoops falls out a cupboard you catch it with your superhuman reflexes.

10 You have a playlist called “Chillout” and you play it top volume to drown out the screaming.

11 Your own parents start putting up signs: 

12 Your car, once your pride and joy, smells like McDonalds, has at least three jackets in the boot and has snacks stored in every pocket.

13 You no longer buy heels. Or anything white.

14 You spend a lot of time sitting in your car, eating snacks, because someone is finally asleep in the back.

15 You don’t even look in H&M adults any more, you go straight to the kids’ section and spend more than you ever spent on yourself.

16 You’ve started visiting Poundland because they have cheap stickers and no one cares if your kids run riot.

17 You used to go to parks for a run – or, centuries ago, to have a sneaky fag or snog. Now you’re there every day, bargaining with a toddler who’s stripped half naked and lain down on a bench.

18 Even though you’re finally realising you’re an adult and should have a Drinks Cabinet – the booze never hangs around long enough for you to create one.

19 You’ve become very tidy, simply because your children eat mess.

20 You used to eat out frequently, now you’re lucky to eat a McDonalds with a decent view.

21 You are obsessed with keys.

22 Any dreams you had of a flower-filled garden have been crushed.

23 You’ve stopped buying newspapers (no time to read them), watching the news channel (drowned out by wails for Peppa Pig) or even listening to it on the radio after your child started paying attention and asking awkward questions you’re so not ready to deal with.

24 Even though you never used to particularly go out for cake, it’s now your Friday saviour (or Tuesday or every damn day): 

25 You’ve mastered that quiet scary voice your mum always used to make you shit yourself.

26 You get overexcited when you finally get a night out and inevitably get too drunk and slightly disgrace yourself.

27 You are no longer woken by an alarm clock. You’re woken by a headlock.

28 You don’t even put up a fight any more when a small child wants to do your makeup.

29 You always carry wipes – even to business meetings. Hell, especially to business meetings. Is that banana or shit on your sleeve?

30 You bribe your children for the smallest thing – even five minutes of no fighting is totally worth two brand new bumper sticker books.

31 Interiors decisions are no longer based on aesthetics, they’re based on durability, wipeability and whether they can be glued back together.

32 You pick your battles wisely: 

33 You do occasionally get overwhelmed with love:

If you liked this post you should check out

20 Life Hacks for Stressed Out Mums

8 Stress- busters for Busy Mums

How to tidy – in 13 steps

 

 

 

 

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The Kitchen Cafe radio appearance

It’s been a while since I’ve been on the radio – yet I was nearly on twice today.

Kitchen Cafe radio

If I’d known we were going to take quite so many pictures I would have done something with my hair. IT’S RADIO!

I was just parking outside the New Town Cook School when an unknown number flashed up.

“Hi this is Leslie from BBC Radio Scotland…”

“Hi, I’m just parking I’ll be two minutes!”

“Oh, I was calling to see if you were free to comment on a show at 11.45…”

I mean how weird is that? Has someone been doing some secret SEO on my blog? Why have I suddenly become a spokesmum? Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted – today was so much fun!

For a start I was recording an episode of The Kitchen Cafe, which is a really cool cookery show on BBC Radio Scotland – and I love to cook. For another thing I was doing it with my pal Lisa, over at Palompo PR and – perhaps the best bit – I got to meet Gill Sims, the genius behind Peter and Jane, the blogger who makes me laugh out loud each evening with her Facebook updates.

Kitchen Cafe radio

Neil and Gill

The subject of this show was ‘back to school’ – transmission is August 17th at 1.30pm. Chef Neil Forbes was showing us quick and easy meals for those days the kids come crashing in from school demanding food NOW.

He was kind enough to make the first one gluten free – as both the Wee Man and Rod can’t digest it. The second was spaghetti with pancetta fried in garlic oil and parsley. “I’ll sell that as Shrek spaghetti,” I announced, which wasn’t as weird as it sounds considering Lisa had just told us she needs to call quesadillas “Daddy sandwiches” if she’s going to get her kids to touch them.

The format of the show is really conversational, with chef Neil doing that amazing multi-tasking of cooking, questioning and keeping the show on track. The producer Phil was brilliant – as it was pre-recorded he would stop us occasionally and remind us to describe what we were seeing and smelling.

kitchen cafe radio

Chick peas with red onion, red pepper, courgette, tinned tomatoes, chorizo and paprika

Kitchen cafe radio

garlic oil and pasta simmering

I think some of my favourite lines were ,”I can’t put soft fruit like strawberries inside my son’s lunchbox as he uses it as a football” from Gill.

“My children would have spaghetti bolognese for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I’d let them,” from Lisa and “Of course, there is a rumour a child went to school with egg and chips in their lunchbox. Not my child, I promise,” from Neil.

I’m definitely going to use the tips in my kitchen and change up the Wee Man’s gluten free lunchbox a bit too. Also, I’m pleased how well the conversation flowed and that we didn’t all talk at once. Three women in a kitchen could have been noisy – but Neil kept us on track and threw in our names pretty frequently to avoid confusion.

I think it’s going to be a fun show to listen to, once Phil has worked his magic in the editing suite. Make sure you listen –  August 17th, 1.30pm, BBC Radio Scotland 🙂

Kitchen Cafe radio

What’s cooking good looking?

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McDonalds Roald Dahl partnership

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I take my kids to McDonalds.

It’s like the trump card you play when you’re dangerously close to losing the game. The last time I sat in with a Choc Chip Frappuccino (my weakness) and a Happy Meal a woman came over with balloons and I could have kissed her. Another woman appeared with a free fruit cup and I could have kissed her too. The Wee Man, who’d been driving me nuts the way only four year olds can, was miraculously transformed. Even KD, one year old and bouncing around in a high chair gnawing on an apple slice, wasn’t causing any trouble.

So when McDonalds’ PR person asked if I’d like to an advance pack of the Roald Dahl goodies planned for the Happy Meal box this month, I was only too happy to accept and write about it.

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The boys were very interested in the golden package mummy brought to the table and gleefully emptied it.

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Mr Twit’s beard

Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox

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The accessories were great fun but it was the pocket-size books with excerpts from all the novels I loved as a child that really got me.

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Not only did the boys love them, I found that I could actually remember whole lines. I must have read each book a dozen times as a child. I slipped them into the changing bag when we were done, they’re a great size and another trump card to play should the golden arches be out of range. Thanks McDonalds!

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